Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

14 March 2017

Will Hodgman, Premier

Eliminating Family Violence

Eliminating family violence remains a priority of the Tasmanian Liberal Government.

We are taking action to improve laws which is reflected in new legislation being debated today.

The Family Violence Reforms Bill 2016 proposes amendments which will provide better protections for victims of family violence and hold perpetrators of family violence to account.

Amendments include:

  • A  penalty provision in the Police Offences Act 1935 for the assault of a pregnant woman providing for a sentence of up to two years jail;
  • Better court processes and support, with alleged victims of family violence more easily allowed to give evidence via an audio visual link avoiding the trauma of facing the accused in court; and  
  • Providing victims of a family violence offence the option to apply to be given information about an offender’s release and progress through the prison system.

These amendments complement the Government’s nation leading Safe Homes, Safe Families: Family Violence Action Plan.

Eighteen months into the implementation of our Plan I am pleased to release an update which highlights the strong progress we have made against family violence to the end of December 2016.

This includes:

  • $26 million in additional funding to take action against family violence
  • 30 additional houses made available for families experiencing family violence (with another 5 since January)
  • Six additional psychologists and social workers appointed to Child and Family Centres to support children affected by family violence
  • Additional counselling hours for young people and adults by service providers
  • 312 additional clients provided with legal assistance; and
  • 78 calls to the Men’s Referral Service.

As expected, greater community awareness and intolerance of family violence is leading to more victims feeling confident enough to report offences. While the number of reported incidents has risen, preliminary data from the Department of Justice indicates that there has been an increase in the number of defendants found guilty of breaching family violence orders. This demonstrates the value of appointing three additional police prosecutors who specialise in family violence.  

There is however always more to be done, this includes learning from new evidence.

In addition to keeping our promise to implement 18 actions we are adding another four which revolve around training for frontline staff and support for victims including aboriginal families.

By taking strong action we are sending a clear message that living free from violence is everyone’s right and that family violence is totally unacceptable.

The Safe Homes, Safe Families Responding and Reporting document is available here: www.dpac.tas.gov.au/safehomessafefamilies

More Media Releases from Will Hodgman

More Media Releases from the Premier